Monthly Archives: September 2009


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um-0928-email I talk to people everyday who are successful. I also talk to people who are struggling. They may not look like they have anything in common, but they often do. I’ve noticed they both talk about wanting to live their life’s purpose, and direct their thoughts to discover their chief aim in life. It seems that even people who have accomplished what they set out to do, are reaching for a deeper satisfaction.How about you?What if you could point your thinking and your actions more directly to your purpose in life? Martha Graham, the dancer and choreographer who set the stage for modern dance, said it so well, “Remember that you are unique. If that has not been fulfilled, then something wonderful has been lost.”

I call this “uniqueness” your original promise, original because it’s not a copy or imitation of someone else, and a promise because it moves you into action. When I discovered my original promise I was 11 years old. It looks different today from when I was 11, but the underlying promise continues to shape my thoughts, words, and actions. It’s what I stand for.

We have many names for people living their original promise. We call them thought leaders or visionaries as if they have a special quality that makes them one of a kind. Instead, I see them as examples, demonstrating for all of us how to manifest our own promise in the world. read more


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um-0922-emailWhat if you found the answer to your current problems by discovering the bigger problem to solve?

I started thinking in this direction after a conversation with my friend Wally Arnold. We were confronting some business issues and Wally said, “We need to solve the bigger problem so we don’t resolve this one issue, and find that another one pops up later.” Think of the image of Hercules fighting the mythological hydra, where you chop off one head only to have another emerge.

Too often we’re solving the wrong problem in the first place, so we end up with solutions that are temporary at best. What if you started identifying the bigger issue, so when you resolved it, not only could you solve your current problem; you could also fulfill an overarching goal. Think about creating a BIG goal that contains the problem that needs to be solved. When you set and achieve a big enough goal, you not only solve the problem of the moment, you benefit spiritually, financially, or physically for the long run. read more


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um-0915-emailEarlier this year we gave a workshop on the topic of WHAT MATTERS MOST. It was simple and illuminating. Simple, because once you decide what matters most, the actions you must take are revealed. Illuminating, because once you become aware of the habits that stop you, you have the opportunity to let them go.

Deciding what matters most to you is a key factor in changing habits that no longer serve you. When that’s clear, you can give up what doesn’t bring you happiness. You’ll find that it gets easier to sacrifice anger for insight into who you are, what you want, and the contribution you make in creating a life worth living.

For example, I decided that one of the things that mattered most to me was to live a long, healthy life. Overtime, it gets easier to sacrifice the over eating, drinking, sugar habits for a lean healthy body. It get’s easier to sacrifice sleeping-in for exercise and increased vitality. It get’s easier to sacrifice image for vulnerability and truth. And pretty soon, it’s not a sacrifice at all; it’s just an essential aspect to joyful living. read more


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um-0908-emailLately, I’ve been thinking about the connection between passion and change. When I hear people talk about passion, they speak with excitement about the future. When I hear them talk about change, that same passion often dissolves into concern, resistance, and avoidance. What if we could intentionally connect our passion for life to any changes we’re facing, whether they were expected or not?

Not too long ago, my husband and I were consulting a company that was moving to another state. Some people who worked there were losing their jobs, while others were faced with a decision: to move and start a new life somewhere else, or stay where they lived and find a new job. The common denominator they all shared was change. A few people were lamenting their fate and wondering why this was happening to them, though most found it simultaneously unnerving and exhilarating. Unnerving because there was uncertainty about what was next for them. Exhilarating because change was calling them to a new adventure. They all understood, at least theoretically, that change happens, whether you like it or not. read more


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um-0901-emailI was talking to my sister and we were discussing the obvious fact that as each year passes, we are stacking up more history and more memories. When we looked at some of our earlier behavior and the decisions we made through the lens of where we are today, we shook our heads and wondered, what were we thinking! In the infamous words of Hugh Grant, we weren’t.

After a few laughs and some tears, we reflected on the importance of including your past—all of it—the good, the bad, and the ugly, so you’re present to learn and engage with what’s possible now.

There’s no question that it’s important to learn from past mistakes and errors in judgment. However, it’s also important not to be so weighed down by them, that you cease to be present to this moment. It’s often not the mistake itself, but the self-judgment you carry around that relentlessly pursues you. read more